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ICC Clears Path for FutureGen Pipeline

A state agency on Thursday cleared the way for two separate massive projects that will affect Morgan County, including giving a certificate to the multi-billion dollar clean energy project known as FutureGen 2.0 for construction and operation of a carbon dioxide pipeline and related facilities.

The FutureGen 2.0 project includes an oxy-combustion, coal-fueled electric power plant with carbon dioxide capture technology, the carbon dioxide pipeline that will transport the gas produced and captured by the power plant and the storage facility where the carbon dioxide will be injected into a deep geologic formation for permanent storage.

The Illinois Commerce Commission said the pipeline is consistent with the public interest, public benefit and the legislative purpose as set forth in the Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Transportation and Sequestration Act. The commission determined FutureGen organizers are able to construct and operate the carbon dioxide pipeline in compliance with the law and that the route proposed should be approved.

The order prohibits the start of construction of the pipeline until all necessary permits are received from state, federal and local governmental entities.

A majority of commissioners agreed that the Carbon Dioxide Pipeline Transportation and Sequestration Act does not require FutureGen officials to obtain and file a copy of the permits before exercising eminent domain to acquire any property along the proposed route.

The commission also Thursday issued an order on rehearing in ATXI’s Illinois Rivers transmission lines case and approved the construction of lines from Pawnee to Pana to Mount Zion and Mount Zion to Kansas.

The commission review on rehearing was limited to addressing the need for construction of new or expanded substations at Ipava, Pana, Mount Zion, Kansas, Sidney and Rising and the best route linking Pawnee and Mount Zion. The commission also reviewed an alternative proposal for sections of the route between Meredosia and Pawnee and between Mount Zion and Kansas.

The commission approved ATXI’s request to construct the new $1 billion, 375-mile long, 345-kilovolt electric transmission line from the Mississippi River near Quincy to the Indiana border, near Terre Haute, in August, finding that the line was necessary to ensure reliability of the electric transmission system and to transport wind energy from the west. The cost of construction will be shared by all customers living within the Midcontinent Independent System Operator region, which is a multi-state transmission area.

The main portion of the transmission line route will run through parts of Adams, Christian, Clark, Coles, Edgar, Macon, Morgan, Moultrie, Pike, Sangamon, Scott and Shelby counties. Specifically, beginning at the point where it crosses the Mississippi River in Adams County, the main portion of the line will run through substations in or near Quincy, Meredosia, Pawnee, Pana, Mount Zion and Kansas. Another section runs from Meredosia to Ipava through parts of Cass, Fulton, Morgan and Schuyler counties. A separate line would wrap around the southwest side of Champaign County from Rising to Sidney.

The transmission line project is expected to take several years to complete and will be placed in service as sections are built, beginning in 2016 and extending to the end of 2019.

Full story here.

If you think you may be affected by the FutureGen Pipeline or Ameren Illinois Rivers Powerline Project and/or are interested in a free consultation, contact our eminent domain landowner attorneys at 1-888-318-3761 or visit us on the web at www.landownerattorneys.com.

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